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tv   MSNBC News Live  MSNBC  January 31, 2010 10:00am-11:00am EST

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is all sort of a process and that they should be let go and things sorted out fairly soon. that process though required that those people were held overnight in a jail last night. it looks like they'll be in jail tonight again, although they are being treated well. here's what one of the leaders of their group told us yesterday. >> we had 33 children from the age of 2 months to 12 years. and in the course of the time frame we had them with us, obviously the entire team deeply fell in love with these children. they are very, very precious kids that have lost their homes an their families and are so, so deeply in need of most of all god's love and his compassion and just a very nurturing setting. >> reporter: they told us that what they had was a piece of paper with all of the children's names and ages. there were 33 children. they had written permission from the pastor of one orphanage here
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in haiti and from another pastor of another orphanage that they were working with and trying to build in the dominican republic. they had those, and then they said that they were told that there would be additional documentation waiting for the children at the border. obviously that didn't happen and that's why they were arrested. the question is, what did they know that they should have had and what didn't they know. it's kind of confusing right now. we got the sense that they were a little bit confused, too, because they told us that throughout this process, the other people involved, including these two pastors were saying that they had everything that they needed. that needs to be sorted out now and they had some help from the embassy on that and that continues. most of them are from idaho. their church told us they'd have to face a judge tomorrow, alex. >> we're also hearing from one of the parents of one of the women who was arrested. let's listen to this. >> they thought they had everything documented the way they should and that their
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paperwork was in order. and they had been trying for the last week. they want to do everything according to the processes that are required. >> so michelle, in terms of the read on the ground in haiti, what are haitian authorities likely to do given the concerns about child trafficking? >> reporter: yes. it is really tough to figure out exactly how seriously they are going to take this, how seriously the judge will take this. whether there will be some penalty. whether they'll try to use this as an example. because the sense we got from police was very relaxed. they said, yes, it is a formality. everything should be fine. we're really just wasting for the embassy. but then the ministry of social affairs made it seem a little bit more serious. they said these people were part of an illicit adoption scheme. that made us a little bit worried as to how exactly they would be treated once they got before a judge. in jail though it seems like they are being treated well. they were all being held in a sort of large room together. the embassy brought them food and they were able to have
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access to any medication and other needs that they had in their bus. so it remains to be seen really what happens once they do face a judge. the embassy hasn't given us much information and the church we know hasn't gotten a lot of information from the embassy, but when i talked to the church members last night they said they were looking for a lawyer locally and that the embassy was expected to give them some help on that. it is really complicated. they were asked, we know, was it just a little bit naive? how could you think that some permission and the names and ages of all the kids would be enough documentation? but one of their leaders said, well, we were told that we would have all we needed once we got to the border. >> michelle kosinski live there with a very complicated story, thanks so much. here at home, the latest winter storm may have moved on but left behind lots of snow an ice from the plains all the way to the potomac. washington, d.c. is dealing with 12 inches of snow today. it also has very cold temperatures. the highs are expected to be
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just around 30 degrees, if not less. increasing concern for d.c. and other areas about clean-up after the storm treating the black ice on the slippery roadways. the snow and ice is expected to linger until monday in memphis. the rough wintry weather was too much for this tree. the ice formed on the branches. that gave way and crashed on to a house. no one was jerd. 10 to 14 inches of snow fell across virginia. dominion says they've restored power to all but a few hundred customers. good news because some really cold air is about to settle in. carl parker joins me now from the weather channel in atlanta. >> good morning, alex. we've got a very chilly picture. this is the current snow cover across the country. about three-quarters of the country now seeing some snow on the ground. a lot of snow here in parts of the west. there's that stripe from the latest storm that occurred in the mid-south and eventually the southeast. there is not a lot of snow removal equipment in the south. temperatures have been dropping
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into the teens so the snow hayes on the roads that's not been plowed is not going anywhere any time soon. we will get some melting this afternoon, temperatures getting up to the middle and upper 30s in charlotte and raleigh, north carolina. but then tonight it will drop back down. we'll see that ice refreezing -- or that water that's melted refreezing so it will be tough on the roads tomorrow morning when a lot of folks go to warm. we'll warm up into the afternoon, see a lot of sunshine, beautiful day on monday for the most part. notice on tuesday a weaker system comes in to virginia and north carolina. some rain and snow. little bit of freezing rain with that. then we'll get some lake-effect snow across parts of the northeast going into wednesday. the next bigger storm is going to be in the southern plains on wednesday. wet weather in texas, along with that. that will really blossom across the south going into thursday. then with cold air just to the east of the appalachians, we'll once again potentially set up significant icing in north carolina and virginia on thursday and friday. then that storm lifts up into the northeast. alex, that could mean a major snowstorm for d.c., baltimore,
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philly and new york come saturday. that's the way it looks right now. >> it is winter, after all. thanks so much, carl parker. learn more about today's forecast by logging on to weather.com. the future of the federal deficit now. tomorrow president obama will send his proposed 2011 budget to congress. "the new york times" says it is a $3.8 trillion spending plan that increases funding for education, research programs, as well as struggling states. nbc's mike viqueira's at the white house for us. good morning, mike. let's get to what the white house says about this budget, that it will save $20 billion over the next year. from where? >> reporter: right. apparently there are some winners in the budget. you mentioned a few of them, some $4 billion that's been reported over the last few days for the department of education. the national institutes of health up in bethesda's going to get some extra money. but there are going to be a lot of trims, consolidations across the federal bureaucracy. it will add up to about $20 billion. 120 of those programs, a few of
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which the white house let us let us know about just yesterday, they include the department of education, some duplicative programs within the department of education will be eliminated. at least that's the proposal. some programs within the park service. a brown fields program that deals with some of these abandoned industrial sites and major cities across the country. an abandoned mines, program. but $20 billion when you talk about a budget of some $3.8 trillion, that's up about $200 billion from last year, that's really a drop in the bucket. a lot of this is symbolic. the president has also proposed a three-year discretionary spending freeze across the budget but that does not include a lot of mandatory programs as opposed to discretionary programs. sorry about the washington speak. but those mandatory programs include medicare, medicaid, social security and other programs that really do require billions upon billions of dollars. democrats say, look, you should not exempt the defense department as the president's proposed to do. there could be a lot of trims within that as well.
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republicans are not happy, either. so a measure of bipartisanship, i guess. not the kind the president would like to see. republicans say this is all just a drop in the bucket, something more dramatic has to be done about federal spending. so the president's budget out tomorrow. released a big ritual every year down at the government printing office. >> mike, what about the reaction to the president's televised back-and-forth with the gop? apparently new reaction this morning from the right? >> reporter: that's right. john boehner is the republican leader of the house. he was on stage with the president, that extraordinary encounter at baltimore when the president there you see him taking the stage, met with the entire house gop and answered questions for more than an hour. the talk is bipartisanship, or the lack of bipartisanship in washington. ironically, alex, is now becoming a partisan issue. republicans eager to shed the label given to them by democrats as "the party of no," and democrats saying republicans really don't want to cooperate. here's what john boehner said about the whole situation about this cooperation with the president earlier this morning on "meet the press."
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>> there aren't that many places where we can come together. the president -- he was the most liberal member of the united states senate. you don't get there by accident. if you look at the policies that we've seen over the course of this year from the administration and his democratic colleagues in congress, there are all these leftist proposals. >> reporter: well, there you go, alex. it is going to be a desperate struggle this election year. john boehner thinks he's got the chance to be the next speaker of the house come november. a 42-seat swing would be what it would take. >> okay, mike viqueira at the white house. thanks, mike. well, president obama took a basketball break yesterday in a visit to the verizon center to see two top ten teams in action. georgetown and duke. there's a game for you. the president visited the on-air broadcasters and he added his own political twist to a basketball question. >> let me tell what you plan a is for khalid shaikh mohammed. khalid shaikh mohammed is going
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to meet justice and he's going to meet his maker? >> you know what? that's not the part of the segment we were going to bring to you. that's in our next segment in just a second. anyway the president was asked a question about how well he plays basketball, because he's a lefty. right? the fact is they said, can you play with the right, something to that effect. i'm paraphrasing. he said, oh, yeah, i went and spoke with the right on friday. pretty clever off the cuff there. watch the msnbc special today at noon eastern here on msnbc sunday. we are hearing today that toyota may soon announce how to -- its plans to fix the faulty gas pedals that sparked a massive worldwide recall. the associated press reports the company is set to make the announce many monday morning and replacement parts could arrive at dealers as early as the end of the next week. but the problems may not end with these recalls. a "los angeles times" investigation found crashes resulting in at least 19 deaths, all involving cars made by
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toyota or its lexus division. >> we believe the problem could be more than that and it is not entirely sure these two recalls will take care of the problem. >> in all, toyota says 4.2 million vehicles worldwide have the faulty gas pedals which cause the car do accelerate suddenly. full-page ads aimed at re-assuring customers are set to appear in 20 major newspapers. what can you do to avoid an accident if your car accelerates suddenly? experts say use both feet to apply strong pressure on the brake pedal, shift the car's transmission to neutral, then shut off the ignition, then do it preferably after slowing the car to a complete stop. robert gibbs making a bold prediction about the upcoming 9/11 trials. right now the obama administration is in the middle of trying to find a location other than manhattan to try professed 9/11 mastermind khalid shaikh mohammed and four alleged accomplices.
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here's what gibbs said moments ago. >> let me tell what you plan a is for khalid shaikh mohammed. khalid shaikh mohammed is going to meet justice and he's going to meet his maker. >> in a federal courtroom or in a military commission? >> he will be brought to justice and he's likely to be executed for the heinous crimes that he committed in killing and mastermindsing the killing of 3,000 americans. that you can be sure of. >> joining me live now from washington, d.c., former cia special agent jack rice. jack, good morning. >> great to be with you, alex. >> i'd love your reaction to what robert gibbs is saying this morning. >> i think that's idiocy. i got to be honest. i listen to what he says. if they're going to put him in a federal courtroom, the idea is they're going to prove that he is guilty. if what we're saying is we're going to put him through a federal courtroom and shoot him regardless, why don't we just shoot him beforehand? it doesn't even make any sense if you're going to stand up for the concept of the constitution, then stand up for it and let the chips fall where they may. >> don't you think that's what robert gibbs meant? i don't like to put words in
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people's mouths but he specifically said "he will be brought to justice." wouldn't the implication there be he'll be found guilty before he gets shot? >> yeah. that is part of this. i don't want to put too much into this. i think the fear that the democrats have always had is that they're going to be seen as soft on terrorism and so they want to be certain, they want to be strong here. yet at the same time i think there's this question on the best way to handle this terrorism issue. i think president obama is correct when he talks about closing guantanamo. i think is he correct when he talks about actually prosecuting khalid shaikh mohammed and four co-conspirators. i think actually he was correct in doing it in lower manhattan rather than sort of backing away from that. so there are a lot of questions that still need to be answered. >> what about the battle that the obama administration has on its hand, just looking for a location to host these trials? >> i think it is unfortunate. i really do think that it would have been better served for the american people that ksm, "the brain," he's known as in the
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middle east. if he'd have been prosecuted in lower manhattan for this reason. what we find is the prosecutors are more experienced there than anywhere else if the country, in the world actually. the other part of that is this -- the idea that somehow if you prosecute him in new york, somehow all of a sudden new york is going to become a target for terrorism? please, come on. let's be honest. al qaeda if they could hit new york, they would thit today. they're not sitting in a cave somewhere in afghanistan saying, well we're not going to hit new york unless they try him there. if they try him there, we're really going to try hard. really? that's the argument? come on! >> jack rice, i love the fact that you tell it just like you see it. that's right. jack rice, thanks so much. >> thanks, alex. still ahead this hour, what's it take to train some of the toughest warriors on the planet? nbc news' chris jansing takes us inside the making of a u.s. navy s.e.a.l. one state government is cracking down on tooth decay but come parents want the government's hands out of their kids' mouths.
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msnbc is the place for politics. this week nashville's where it's at for hard-core tea partiers. the first-ever tea party convention will take place. i'm joined by a.b. stoddard, associate editor and columnist from "the hill" newspaper who's in the house! usually down from d.c. let's talk about the for-profit for this thing. tickets to the tea party convention, $550 a pop. sarah palin's being paid reportedly more than $100,000 to come be the keynote speaker. is this a problem for the movement or is it a sign that it's just well funded? >> well, probably both. think it is an optics issue for them. this is supposed to be an insurgency.
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insurgencies are finite. after a while you need to pay for things, you need to build a movement. then you look like the establishment. that's what they're fighting against. the problem with the tea party, the tea party's in the eye of the beholder. there are many, many, many tea parties. there is a splinter disparate movement of many, many groups. what you're watching is some part of it getting quite organized trying to get money together, holding an event like this and others resisting because it looks too elitist, too establishment and too much for-profit. they have to raise money as any political movement does to really have an influence. there have been recent reports that actually though they're fighting the republican establishment, some tea partiers across the country have decided to become precinct captains. these are openings in the republican party that are open and they're influential positions, but people don't really want them because they're down at the bottom and don't pay much. they're not so important but they do actually have an impact on the choosing of candidates. there were reports about people saying we're not going to have
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an influence from the outside, we're going to get on the inside, get inside the ground floor of the republican party and shake it up. so these are disparate goals. you'll have a lot of crashing between the tea party members. >> which way do you think it's going to go ultimately? are they going to become establishment? does that allow them better chance of influence as opposed to just being this kind of outside grassroots that -- >> i think it has to become organized. it has to move towards the establishment rather than a rag-tag bunch of insurgents. because ultimately that's how you have more influence. the real grassroots people won't like it but i think they have to get organized. it will be survival of the fittest which tea party becomes sort of the leader of the pack. but that's the way they have some heft and threaten the republican establishment with candidates and races. >> let's touch real quick on the person in ill hoil will fill the seat of barack obama, roland burris has had it, of course, but there are those who suggest
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it is a flawed field of candidates. >> this seat is a little cursed. it's really too bad for the democrats. they have a candidate who's looking like he's going to come out of the primary. he's the state treasurer. early on they really hung their hats and hopes on him. he's having some troubles, he's connected to tony rezko. some connections the republicans will definitely play up. the republican candidate is a ten-year congressman, mark kirk from illinois. just a really good candidate. i have a feeling he comes out of the primary and ss goiit is goi be tough in a tough democratic year for a weak democratic candidate to fight off mark kirk. we'll see. mark kirk hae some troubles of his own, that's true but at this point he has the upper hand. >> a.b. stoddard, see you more next hour. still ahead, the president says it will create green jobs. but can high-speed trains really succeed in america?
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it is a political battle unlike any other. the fight over the toothbrush. that's right. massachusetts is the first state to require all children who eat a meal at a daycare or attend for more than four hours to brush their teeth during the class. some parents and care givers are praising the new regulation, but some are saying, not so fast. it's too much government intervention. joining me live here in studio, dr. susan taylor, board certified in both dermatology and internal medicine. good morning to you, doctor. i know you understand the concerns here but with these parents saying too much government, literally hands in my children's mouths, what's your opinion? >> first of all, it is estimated that 25% of kindergarteners in massachusetts have tooth decay. and that's going to lead of course to pain and infection. but, the real issue is that there are more serious medical issues that can develop with gum disease. what you might not realize,
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cardiovascular disease, strokes, diabetes, there is an even association between gum disease and still births or low birth rate. so, it's a broader picture. >> so what you just described, is that justification for the government to step in and say, in the spirit of prevention, we need to help these kids learn good health habits? >> i think it is a very strong argument. if we're thinking about the long-term health of these children, especially as they become adults, something very simple as brushing one's teeth during daycare is really a very simple measure that will have long-lasting health benefits. >> there are certainly many physicians and otherwise that say you brush at home, why not brush also after every meal. i know i taught my children to do that when they were able to do so. for those parents who say, wait a minute, the spreading of germs -- come on, daycare centers can be incubator for germs. >> in all daycare centers there's hand washing. the child will have a new toothbrush. they'll brush themselves.
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i think we can do it in a very hi hygienic manner. >> thank you, we'll talk to you next hour. do we need a high-speed rail network? stay with us. me on. [ kissing ] come on. good girl. mollie's never looked better. i really was amazed to see the change in her coat. people stop us when we're walking, and they'll say, "did you shine up her spots?" [ woman announcing ] just another way purina one... unlocks the brilliance of nature...
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new this morning, the obama administration's facing several obstacles in selecting a site for the upcoming 9/11 trials. among them, security and cost. on this morning's "meet the press," senior white house advisor david axelrod addressed critics who say professed 9/11 mastermind khalid shaikh mohammed and four alleged accomplices should be tried in military court around not the federal courts. >> the bush administration tried 190 or more terrorists in that system. nobody's saying -- rudy giuliani said he was in awe of the american justice system. mr. cheney said this was the way to do it. now we have a democratic president and suddenly we hear this -- these protests.
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it doesn't make sense. you ought to clarify what has changed between now and then that would cause people to reverse their positions 180. >> watch the entire interview when "meet the press" reairs later today at 2:00 p.m. eastern, 11:00 a.m. pacific right here on msnbc. the latest gallup poll shows 4 47% of americans disapprove of the president's performance, and 47% approve. might president obama ultimately see an approval ratings bump in the wake of the state of the union address? >> i doubt it. because that 47%-47% number that came out yesterday afternoon, two-thirds of the sample were done on thursday and friday nights after the state of the union. we'll get some fresh numbers in at 1:00 this afternoon, but i think it is safe to say that there is going to be no state of the union bounce. the thing is that -- that's
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actually normal. state of the union, presidents usually don't get a bounce. because they're really kind of dreadful speeches, as a general rule. they're kind of like reading a shopping list of this is what i want to do for the next year. they're not as rhetorical, as lyrical, as lifting as inaugural addresses with. with the exception of president clinton nae clinton's in 1998 when had he a ten-point jump, that was two days after monica lewinsky. people thought the guy would be coming in with a frying pan on his head. other than that, they haven't really moved the needle much. i don't think there will be any bump out of the state of the union at all. >> how about the president saying in the state of the union he's never been more hopeful about america's future. 63% of americans agree with him, are opt miss tk or very optimistic of the future of the u.s. over the next 20 years, a higher level of optimism expressed when we reached say the 1980s, after those very
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terrible times in the late '70s. what do these numbers tell us? >> i think right now if you ask people about the near-term, no, they're not hopeful. i think people want to be hopeful. they want to get out of this. they want to get through this adversity. but i don't take a whole lot of meaning out of that. what they want to do is they want to get out of this recession. they want to feel comfortable that people are getting hired back up, that people's jobs are stable, that their incomes are going up and that there's not going to be a double-dip recession. people want to be hopeful but i don't take anything from that number at all to be perfectly honest. >> a president's popularity. tell me how in terms of his personal approval ratings, how can he ride that? that remains certainly higher than average. >> well, personal feelings, i mean if you separate favorable, unfavorable, or positive,
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negative, feelings towards the president versus job approval rating, there is a disconnect. people tend -- i mean non-conservatives, non-base republicans tend to like barack obama a lot. they think he's very, very bright. he's very, very knowledgeable. but, they're starting to move away on -- in terms of thinking that he's got the same agenda that they do, that this is the cruise they sign up for. so there's a disconnect between the job they think he's doing, which is sort of not so good. it was at the end of the year the second-lowest of modern presidents. and what they think of him in terms of personal qualities. so there is a bit of a difference there. >> okay. give me the trajectory, uphill battle or not for democrats to retain the house come november? >> this -- um, right now if you just counted up the seats that democrats have that are really, really, really vulnerable, it is not quite there in terms of losing the majority. but if you sort of look at the
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trajectory, look at what we were seeing three months ago, two months ago, one month ago, now, this is a trajectory that looks like it's going to go over 40 seats, meaning democrats lose the majority. when you hear about health care experts talking about wanting to bend the health care cost curve, well, democrats have to bend this political curve because if they don't bend it back down, it is going over 40 and they will lose the house. they need something to change the game. and we didn't see it in the speech wednesday night. i don't think we saw it talking to the republicans day before yesterday. >> we're almost out of time but is the only thing that's really going to change the game jobs, jobs, jobs? >> jobs -- big, net job gains would change things. but the thing is economists say we'd have to pick up 150,000 net new jobs every month for 48 months just to get unemployment
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down to 9%, which is still a horrifically high level. i don't see the kind of job creation between now an november 2nd. >> okay, charlie cook. glad you're on the job with us though. we appreciate that. thanks. >> watch an msnbc special broadcast of the president's q&a time with the gop airing at noon here today on msnbc sunday. it is the biggest investment in america's infrastructure in more than half a century. today president obama's plan to build a modern high-speed rail network gets good reception from coast to coast. in all 30 high-speed rail projects that received stimulus funding spanning 31 states in every region of the country, but some are now asking can high-speed rail really succeed in america. for some perspective, i'm joined live by a transportation expert, jack kinslicker. we'll put up a map right now of the 13 high-speed rail corridors in the biggest population centers that will be the focus of
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gulf coast, midwest, florida, pacific northwest. up and down the east coast as well. how much will this change the rail system as we know it in america now? >> it depends on the future of the federal program. if the federal government is serious about high-speed rail, they will promote real high-speed rail which means going over 150 miles an hour which would work wonderfully in california, along the northeast corridor, in florida and texas and other places where there are big cities within a few hundred miles of each over. but over half of the $8 billion that the government just spent is moving speeds from 90 miles an hour to 110 miles an hour, removing a curve, eliminating a grade crossing. that doesn't excite people. it doesn't really change behavior and i think that's a big mistake. the government typically spreads the money around like peanut butter to as many states as
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possible, but it didn't get very serious about real high speed. >> this $8 billion, i mean are we going to see much change? is this the kind of thing that's being put out there for just upgrading that which we have already or say environmental impact reports and those kinds of things in the background before you start laying down rails for a high-speed track? >> well, that's a good question. less than half of the money is being devoted to real high speed and that's only the project in california and the one in florida. the rest of the money, over half, over $4 billion, is being spread around to just improve speeds a little bit, and i don't think that's going to excite the american public or show the american public the real potential of real high-speed which is what you have in china, japan and europe. they have real high speed where it is replaced people driving and flying where they have new technologies, where they put lots of people to work.
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and unless we replicate the european and asian experience and invest in real high-speed, which is over 150 to 200 miles an hour, i think we're going to miss the boat. >> do you think if you look at americans' appetite for rail ridership, jack, it is up with regard to amtrak. it's up over the last ten years 36%. real advocates say the country is hungry for more rail. hungry enough to pay for it? >> well, i believe that. if high-speed rail's successful, i think the fare box will cover much of the cost even on the northeast corridor where you have amtrak operating asela which averages 90 miles an hour. i would never call that a high speed. you now have more people taking the train than flying between washington and new york. so even 19th century technology, which is what they arary ue arae
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using in the northeast corridor does attract riders. rail is the answer. if we can divert enough people out of the commuter air to rail connecting, for example, washington and new york, you also decongest the airports and allow the airspace to be used for real long distance flight, where it should be used in the first place. and there's lots of jobs. there's jobs. >> job creation would be enormous there. >> i'm working on a project between washington and baltimore, 40 miles, and that's going to employ 16,000 man years of people just to build and 500 people a year to maintain and operate. so we need to get the jobs and we need to capture the technology. >> all right, sir, i do appreciate your insight. thanks so much. >> you're welcome. now taking a look at some of the big stories making headlines around the world, today the death toll has risen to 20
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killed in the heavy flooding in southern peru. authorities say thousands of tourists stranded near machu picchu have been airlifted to safety now. germans are digging out after a powerful snowstorm. at least 40 were injured, more than 300 separate highway crashes between friday and saturday night. can you imagine ha? in india, officials say they've recaptured two tigers who went on a two-hour romp through a zoo in northeastern india saturday. terrified visitors at the zoo ran for exits as the two tigers escaped while their cages were being cleaned out. prince harry hopes to raise money in barbados this weekend for his charity and victims of the earthquake. tom aspell, what's the latest on prince harry? >> well, britain's prince harry, third in line to the throne, has been making his second official trip overseas. this time to the caribbean island of barbados.
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the 25-year-old grandson of queen elizabeth visited a hospital in bridge town to comfort children. a task he said was inspired by the charity work of his late mother, princess diana. >> william and i have always tried to achieve -- try and achieve what she achieved in the short space of time she did. i think it's like mother, like son, like father, like son. >> princeharry also attended a fund-raiser for haiti. he dutifully entertained the crowds. he'll be back in britain this weekend. >> he and his brother william seem to be doing more of these officials trips. any reason why? >> i think the monarchy wants to promote a new younger image. the queen is in her 80s and prince charles is in her 60s. sending young princes out on these tours gives the monarchy a much more vibrant image particularly at a time when many
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of the overseas positions are thinking of becoming republics. coming up, a panda party at the national zoo. admirers from around the country flocked to washington, d.c. to bid a fond farewell to a beloved guest. [ female announcer ] in just 45 minutes a week at a weight watchers meeting you can get the life skills that put you in charge of your world and hungry and the online tools to help you face any situation which means "darn right you can go to the dinner party" and still lose weight. and learn how to keep it off. join for free now. sorry, hungry. you're not invited. but you are, join for free today and change your life. weight watchers. stop dieting. start living.
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a clinical study showed it helps repair damage... in just 3 washes. visit aveeno.com for a free sample. for stronger, shinier... hair with life. aveeno nourish +. that's the beauty of nature and science. a farewell party at washington's national zoo where fans of the giant panda bear tai shan gathered to say good-bye. the popular 4-year-old panda leaves for china on thursday. joining me, a reporter for the "washington post." mike, good morning to you. let's talk about this washington superstar. i guess you can say they're cute and cuddly and wonderful but there is more to it than that. why is this bear so popular? >> yeah, alex, this bear has become sort of an institution in washington in the last four years. it's hard to put your finger on it. people just kind of react to it
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in very interesting ways. i know a woman who met her husband at the panda compound. there was a young guy at the farewell party yesterday who proposed to his girlfriend. there's very close kind of personal bond that some folks have with the panda, and among each other. there's sort of camaraderie among the pandarazzi, as they call themselves. >> we are watching a video of the proposal. i wish she would grab the ring already! oh, there's the kiss! that all went off well. can we not make him wait any longer. it's cold out there. what about the farewell party yesterday? talk about some of the details of about. >> yes. it was -- you know, it was snowing, it was freezing cold and there was still several hundred people who came from florida, north carolina, new
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jersey, massachusetts. the diehards. you know? and they just came with cameras and their parkas and blankets and ponchos and just to sort of take a last look at this giant panda who is going to be going off to china on thursday. >> something, michael, everyone had expected right from the outset, because -- can you fill in that? >> yes. china sort of leases its pandas to zoos in the u.s. and the arrangement calls for the cubs when they reach a certain age, cubs that are born here, when they reach a certain age to go to china and enter a breeding program because the species is endangered and there are only a few thousand of them left in the wild. >> what happens next? does the washington zoo get another panda back in place? >> great question. tai shan's parents will be here in short term, although their
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lease is up this coming december. the zoo officials have told us that they have been imploring the chinese to -- not to leave washington pandaless. everybody hopes that we will have a panda after next year. >> okay. we hope as well here in new york. thanks, michael. still ahead, the u.s. navy is trying out some creative new techniques to attract recruits. nbc's chris jansing takes us inside the super secret world of navy s.e.a.l.s. it is a great series. stick around for that.
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more of our exclusive look inside the navy s.e.a.l.s, our nation's silent warriors. they are under a man dalt to increase their numbers by over 20% without lowering their standards. to do that they are looking for recruits in some unexpected places. here's nbc's chris jansing. >> reporter: its a he quite an
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entrance for warriors who pride themselves on stealth. two navy s.e.a.l.s parachuting from a c-130 into the world ironman championship. for the s.e.a.l.s this is a new kind of mission, competing in extreme endurance sports as a recruiting tool. david is their point man. >> i'm looking for honestly that guy who has 1,000-yard stare. his mental toughness. it is not wanting to fail. >> reporter: and failure was exactly the navy's problem. most prospective candidates can't make it through the grueling training but the s.e.a.l.s have a mandate to expand the force by 500 in the next two years. navy did a study on who was most likely to succeed. it wasn't the big guys who play football. >> water polo, triathlon, rug gee, lacrosse, boxing. wrestling does real well, too. most of those sports have a real high training, hardness factor.
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>> reporter: armed with that information, the navy designed a one-day competition called the s.e.a.l. fitness challenge. >> keep it up, man. looking good! >> reporter: a series of tests identical to what they give recruits. anyone can sign up but the navy insights athletic young men. on this day, several water polo teams. obviously from a s.e.a.l.s' perspective, these players spend a tremendous time in the water, have upper body strength and they know team work. they're also often getting up at crack of down and diving into a cold pool. they're focused and self-motivated. they're guys like ben miller. a college water polo player who after graduation took a sales job with some of his teammates. >> there wasn't that overall goal and -- >> you are alookilooking for a challenge. >> yeah. looking for a larger cause besides ourselves. >> reporter: as for david, he's back training for his next test, a 3,000-mile bike race all the way across the country. and along the way, he'll be on the lookout for the next
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generation of elite warriors. >> i ask them one big question -- where's your heart at? do you really want this for the right reasons? it has to be something you're really passionate about. passion is what gets you through navy s.e.a.l. training. >> that was chris jansing reporting on that. coming up in our next hour, an unprecedented conversation with four navy s.e.a.l. wives. for chris' field notes on the story, check out our website, fieldnotes.msnbc.com. next hour, the latest on e toyota recall, on the government investigation and on a quick fix for those sticking gas pedals. ♪ love scars ♪ love wounds [ male announcer ] before you ever love it, the nissan altima goes through over 5,000 tests. no wonder it's ranked highest in initial quality by j.d. power and associates. it's quality you can love. lease an altima for $189 a month
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[ female announcer ] crest extra white plus scope outlast. vegas. - ( whirring ) - oh, you know what? let me call you back. announcer: you don't drink every time you smoke. yet you smoke every time you drink. drinking and smoking don't have to go together. re-learn life without cigarettes, free, at becomeanex.org. a new way to think about quitting. next on msnbc sunday -- the toyota recall. what about the repair? millions of car owners are waiting to hear when toyota will put the brakes on the perilous problems with the gas problems. u.s. church members detained
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in haiti after reportedly trying to rescue orphan children. what were they up to? plus, the families of fearless u.s. fighters. a look at the sacrifices they make as their navy s.e.a.l. goes to work for america. good morning, everyone. i'm alex witt. welcome to msnbc sunday. 11:00 a.m. on the nose on the east coast. 8:00 a.m. out west. all of that for you, plus how some people can protect themselves from heart disease with a toothbrush. right now toyota dealers across the nation are waiting word from the company on when they'll start to receiving replacement parts use to fix the faulty gas pedals that led to the massive worldwide recall of some 4.2 million toyota vehicles. also today, full-page toyota ads aimed at re-assuring customers are appearing in 20 major newspapers. for more, i'm joined by "usa today" business reporter jane o'donnell. jane, good morning to you. >> good morning. >> what are you hearing first of all in terms of getting these parts to the dealerships so they can get them transferred to the broken-up cars? >> right. e
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